My Dear Dayananda and Nandarani,
Please accept my blessings. I received your letter dated July 18, after the mail strike as well as Nandarani’s letter, along with it. And I thank you very much for them.
Now, regarding your question: “What is the difference between Jagannatha deities and Krishna Murti and why is the latter not fed and cared for as well as the former and why are Jagannathas more tolerant?”
Krishna means Himself and all His expansions, different expansions.
So sometimes, Krishna appears as Vasudeva, sometimes as Sankarsana, sometimes as Jagannatha, sometimes as Lord Caitanya, sometimes as Rama, so all such different incarnations includes the Name Krishna. So Jagannatha is another feature of Krishna, and He is especially favorable to the people who are not strictly advanced to the Brahminical culture of Vedic rituals.
Lord Jagannatha is situated in India, at Puri; this place is one of the towns of Orissa province. And the people of Orissa and Bengal, they are sometimes fish-eaters, why sometimes—about 90% population they are fish-eaters. But Jagannatha Swami in Puri, He accepts service from these people although they are sometimes fish-eaters. So in the Kali yuga, the people are supposed to be not so clean, and therefore, service to Jagannatha Swami is preferred.
So far service to Laksmi-Narayana, and Radha Krishna, it requires highly elevated position, transcendental to Brahmins. But still, either we serve Jagannatha or Radha Krishna, the effect is the same. But to facilitate the worship of the Lord in the Form of Jagannatha is more congenial than others.
But when anything is offered to Jagannatha, it does not mean that it is not taken by Krishna. So in the temple, although we offer to Jagannatha, it is also accepted by Krishna. Be rest assured of this fact.
Hope this will find you both in good health, along with your good child Candramukhi.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
*That the people of Orissa and Bengal eat fish in their private homes is a fact. But they do not offer anything like that to the Lord Jagannatha. The Lord is offered all nice foodstuffs as we are striving to do in our all our temples here.
The news of the Car festival of Lord Jagannatha of S.F. was published not only in the local papers but also in India as in the Yugavtar A.B. Patrik, Truth, and many others on 10th July 1968.